J’s Birthday Extravaganza

J’s actual birthday was on Wednesday but we decided to celebrate over the weekend.

The party started on Friday when J opened his birthday presents from his parents.

Justin With Eagles Sweatshirt

The only thing he may love more than cats is the Eagles. (We even have Eagles fathead stickers all over our garage.)

I needed to keep my gift giving on the low-key side because of a serious lack of funds (and job). I got him a Ron Swanson bobble head from the NBC store.

Ron Swanson Bobblehead

Ron Swanson Bobblehead Box

Do you watch Parks And Recreation? If not, you should it is ridiculously funny.

We received a second package from the in-laws for Easter.

Dina with Easter Basket

(Yes, those are snowmen in the background. It being April, I probably should put those away.)

Easter candy! I love Peeps with a vengeance. (I can never decide which candy holiday is my favorite. Valentines, Easter, or Halloween? They all have really good candy but there are strong arguments to the merits of all three.)

Easter Basket Candy

If you like licorice, you have to try the Darrell Lea brand. They sell it at Target and it contains only natural ingredients. It is by no means a healthy snack but if you are going to eat candy, at least eat the kind with the most natural ingredients. Plus it is extremely tasty.

There was also a few little doodads included.

Pink Easter Chick

This little chick lights up like a disco ball. We also received some notebooks and a few plush Easter toys for the cats.

Friday night we saw Jerry Seinfeld perform at The Lakeland Center. It was a great show, Jerry is as funny as ever. For his encore, he took questions from the audience which was different. Most of the questions were mundane but someone did ask about the Superman references on Seinfeld. Jerry discussed all the reasons why he liked Superman.

On Saturday we stopped at the Track Shack and I picked up my new shoes. (Cannot wait to run in them. My old shoes are being held together by duct tape and hope, so the new ones should feel amazing.)

We had an early dinner at The Ravenous Pig, where we have eaten once before and loved.

To drink, I started with a Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale which was delicious and had zero aftertaste. J even liked it and he is not a big fan of brown ale’s. J had a vodka martini with blue cheese stuffed olives.

We shared a Gatherer salad (baby lettuces, avocado, pickled beets, radish, goat cheese, pistachios, herb vinaigrette) which was amazing. This is the half-sized salad but was still a sharable size.

J had the Seared Labelle Farms Foie Gras. It is served on ginger bread with apple butter, tokaji syrup, and cocoa nib granola. A really interested combination with the foie gras but J absolutely loved it.

We split the House-made Soft Pretzels. They come with a mustard and a taleggio-porter fondue that was incredible. The pretzels alone were wonderful and would be perfect with a nice beer if stopping in for a drink and appetizers.

For the main course, I had the Pub Burger. The last time we ate at The Ravenous Pig, burger after burger was ordered around us. Seeing that, I knew it had to be special and it was. The burger is topped with caramelized onions and buttermilk bleu cheese and the combination of these two items move it into otherworldly territory. Topped off with a brioche bun and served with truffle fries, it was impossible to put down.

J ordered the Colorado Lamb Leg which is served with a side of nettle and ramp gratin and topped with fried lemons, dill yogurt, and arugula. J is more of a rack of lamb person but enjoyed this dish. It was cooked to perfection and the nettle and ramp gratin was very unique.

We shared a Tomato Tart as a side. The tart was very summery and quite good.

There was one cocktail on the menu that we had to try, The Ravenous Pig Old Fashioned. The description for the drink is “bacon infused buffalo trace bourbon, vanilla maple syrup, and bitters.

Any drink garnished with bacon is after my heart. Neither of us are big fans of bourbon but enjoyed the drink. It is interesting to drink something that tastes so much like bacon.

Overall, The Ravenous Pig is two for two with us. Both trips had excellent service, unique and delicious food, and is not too pricey. I highly recommend if you are in the Orlando area.

Happy Birthday J, I had an amazing time celebrating it with you!

Gratitude Birthday Style

My 30th birthday celebrations have so far been amazing. (I say so far because there is a fancy schmancy dinner coming up for the weekend. Stay tuned.)

J gave me my gift on Saturday after the race.

Canon Rebel

Words cannot express how excited I am to be able to take better pictures for this blog and to actually learn how to use this camera. (If you are a regular reader, please brace yourself for lots of cat pictures. They are the only people in my house who will let me practice on them.)

On my actual birthday, my friends at work cooked up an elaborate scheme including a fake fight and pretending to forget. to get me out to lunch. Well the pretending to forget was ruined when a coworker came up with a balloon and donuts while wishing me a happy birthday. It was pretty funny because no one knew what to do. Continue with their elaborate ruse or admit defeat? So surprise ruined but there was still more to come.

At noon we drove over to Saffran, a new Icelandic restaurant in Orlando. It is an interesting concept, all the menu items are less than 685 calories and they do not use any white sugar, white flour, or artificial additives.

When we got to the restaurant, I was met by these smiling faces.

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Wendy and Norka.

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Jen, Me, and Emily.

They even yelled surprise when Norka and I walked in.

On the table was another surprise.

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It says 30 Sucks!

It was made by the very creative Emily (who I would totally let decorate my house) and filled with 30 maple syrup lollipops. This New Englander loves all things maple, so that was a wonderful surprise.

I also got a card with a cat on it. Maple candy, healthy food, and cats, they know me well.

When I got home, there was a surprise on my desk.

HP Touchpad

J and I were lucky to get two HP Touchpads during the great fire sale but only one showed up. J told me the order for the other one was cancelled but it wasn’t. I am having a lot of fun playing around with this new toy.

I finished my day by attending a yoga class at Groundwork Yoga. It was supposed to be a beginner class but by popular request, it was a Yin Yoga class. The class was interesting because you hold the poses for three to five minutes and this is supposed to help with flexibility and brings a kind of meditative quality to the practice because of the stillness. I really enjoyed the class and it did wonders for my super tight runners legs.

I have so much to be grateful for. Wonderful friends, a great husband, and my health. It has been a very happy birthday.

What are you grateful for?

What is you favorite type of Yoga?

Fitness Friday Blog Hop

What I Ate Wednesday Birthday Edition

Today is my 30th birthday. I feel happy but kind of sad at the same time. (Mostly sad that I have to work and this is the busiest time of the year. Not sure I ever want to work another job where the fiscal year-end is the same week as my birthday.)

Regular readers will know about my 30 Before 30 list. I will be writing an update about that later in the week.

Now onto the food.

Breakfast.

Cereal

Breakfast

Plus black coffee.

Lunch was a salad beast.

Lunch Salad

Spinach

Tuna

Grape Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Chick Peas

Feta Cheese

Olive Oil

Also a peach, not pictured.

Snacks were string cheese times two and two bananas.

String Cheese

037

Dinner was leftover salad. Pretty much the same as lunch, minus the tuna.

Dinner Salad

Pasta recipe from this months Runner’s World. It was OK but the meatballs were really good.

Pasta with Turkey Meatballs and Feta

Smart Taste Pasta

Turkey Meatballs (with more feta)

Feta Cheese

Do you do anything special for your Birthday?

Is 30 the new 25?

J’s Birthday

We met my Mother, Brother, and Tom (my Mom’s boyfriend) at the lounge. They were watching the basketball game (Go UCONN) when we got there and we joined them for a free drink. 
Dinner was at Council Oak which we had eaten at once before. J is a huge fan of steak and always wants one on his birthday.
They have display cases of the different cuts of meat in the front of the restaurant. Lots of red meat to someone like me who never eats steak and maybe eats meat, of any kind, once a month.
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We started with a rather large seafood platter. It was very delicious.
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We may have drunk too much wine.
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The first two tries at taking that picture the flash did not go off in the very dark restaurant which I did not notice until my brother pointed out. This one had tons of flash, making J look like Casper.
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Happy 32 J! Hope you enjoyed your steak and super extra nasty dirty martini.

I have five and half miles on deck for tomorrow. My goal is to get up early enough to run before it’s 80 degrees. I will need much willpower to get my butt out of the house that early on a Saturday but I will try.